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Daisetta sinkhole

May 8, 2008

While the eruption of Chaitén volcano in Chile is certainly worthy of grabbing the geo-headlines this week, there is another developing geological feature of interest.

I’ve had two friends alert me (thanks!) to some information about a rapidly-developing sinkhole in Daisetta, Texas (a bit northeast of Houston). As of this morning it was ~400 m in diameter and ~60 m deep.

You can get a sense of the scale of the sinkhole from the photo above (from this article). Geologists preliminarily think this is likely related to collapse of salt domes in the subsurface. At the time of writing this post, those on the scene believe it’s growth is slowing down a bit. At one point it was deeping as much as 20 ft (6 m) per hour.

See update post here.


Check out this report from May 10, 2008, which discusses possible causes:

A company that sits near the edge of a massive sinkhole in Southeast Texas has been accused of violating permits for disposal of saltwater, which some geologists suggest may have caused the crater.

As a friend mentioned to me, an event like this stirs up memories of the famous Lake Peigneur incident, which I blogged about here.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Eva permalink
    May 13, 2008 10:40 am

    I want to know more about this…I would rather see the sink hole on the news, than Brittney or Paris or Lindsey.
    If this is the fault of an oil company, I hope they are sued for Billions by the whole town of Daisetta, TX.

  2. May 13, 2008 10:57 am

    Determining the exact cause of this will be difficult. This area is a coastal plain with natural salt dome structures in the subsurface. Drilling and extraction of oil or gas could certainly be a contributor to this, I don’t know, but knowing if it’s from one well or one company, or from decades of development, may be difficult to impossible to determine.

    For a law suit to be successful, the precise nature of the causes would have to be worked out. Whoever is doing the suing would have to pay for a very detailed study.

    Also, if an oil company was found guilty, I highly doubt it would be in the billions, but potentially in the 10s of millions (that’s just a guess).

    Finally … I agree with you … who cares about Hollywood gossip when there are sinkholes!

  3. May 17, 2008 10:54 am

    not trying to be a pest in any1’s ear or whatever…but this sinkhole is putting daisetta on the map. i mean, come on, who really knew daisetta was even there til this happened??
    either way, it’s a sad situation for those going thru this crazy tragic time.
    for those at loss, GOD be with you.
    you are truly blessed with life.

  4. HomeSweetHome permalink
    May 19, 2008 10:34 am

    Hey we don’t live there but know exactly where it is. For us it’s more than a place with a sink hole.

    as Dorothy said when she click the heels of her red slippers..

    “There’s no place like home”…..

  5. eprimetime permalink
    July 1, 2008 8:40 pm

    My father spent his high school years in Hull-Daisetta (as it is known to the locals, Hull being a mere four miles away.) My mother wasborn and raised there, and lived there until a few months ago, my grandmother still does, and most of my aunts and my uncle live in the area, if not right in Hull-Daisetta. The outside of town, furthest from the main highway running through it, is a gas and/or oil field, and has been for years, basically the only thing keeping the town alive.

  6. July 1, 2008 9:39 pm

    eprimetime … what’s the story on the sinkhole now?

  7. Ingram Michael permalink
    May 27, 2020 6:56 pm

    This short article was such a fantastic read which I will certainly recommend
    it for the family members! The last time I have read something as professionally written was with here at Thank you to
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  1. There’s A Sinkhole In Daisetta - Pt. 1 « Scooter Club Golden Triangle

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